3 Advertising Mistakes That Can Negatively Affect SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Good or bad, opposite signsIt’s important to take an integrated approach to online marketing and advertising efforts. SEO is important but as an SEO firm, we’ll be the first to admit that it often isn’t enough in today’s crowded web space. It’s worthwhile to invest in other online marketing opportunities and seek out additional sources of revenue that are in line with branding efforts. However, it’s important to be smart about advertising practices. If you aren’t careful you can unintentionally annoy both target audience members and the search engines, which can be harmful to your SEO efforts. Here are 3 online advertising mistakes to avoid:

Irritating website visitors

Running ads on your website can be a great source of revenue, but that’s only if website visitors are staying on the site. Visitors are often turned off by pop up ads, especially if they include auto-play videos or sound. Not only are these types of ads distracting, they are also slowing down the whole site which can ruin the user experience. Page load time is a ranking factor and ads like these can cause visitors to bounce. A high bounce rate is also something that the search engines take into account when ranking sites. They want to provide users with the best possible experience. A high bounce rate tells the search engines that visitors aren’t getting what they want.

Placing ads above the fold

The Benefits of Nofollow Links
Originally launched in 2012 and updated in 2014, Google’s “Top Heavy” algorithm downgrades the ranking of a web page that has too many ads at the top of the page. From the Google Search Blog:

We’ve heard complaints from users that if they click on a result and it’s difficult to find the actual content, they aren’t happy with the experience. Rather than scrolling down the page past a slew of ads, users want to see content right away. So sites that don’t have much content “above-the-fold” can be affected by this change. If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.

Not using a “nofollow” tag

In regards to ads placed on other web properties, it’s necessary to add a nofollow tag to the link since paid links for SEO purposes are a no-no. Links pass trust and need to accrue naturally. The nofollow tag tells the search engines that the link was paid for in order to generate traffic to your website, not to manipulate your link trust and your ranking.

There is certainly a place for ads within an online marketing campaign. Ads placed on your own website can generate revenue and ads placed on other web properties can generate traffic which in turn can generate revenue. However, it’s important to ensure that your advertising practices aren’t viewed negatively by target audience members and the search engines.

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